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Devoted Queen enters Royal Ascot reckoning with stylish victory

Charlie Appleby’s Devoted Queen gave an insight into her ability with a neat victory in the Sky Bet Fillies’ Stakes at York.

The Kingman three-year-old, who is out of a good Group performer in Fintry, was unbeaten in two runs before taking this Listed step up.

A Newmarket maiden winner on debut and successful on the all-weather at Kempton subsequently, the dark bay was the 3-1 favourite to record her hat-trick under William Buick.

Fitted with a hood to help her settle, the headgear seemed to have the desired effect as she was slotted in midfield for much of the race.

After rounding the bend she began to progress and when asked to go on and win the race she was well able to do so, prevailing by two lengths and gaining quotes as short as 10-1 for the Coronation Stakes with Betfair.

“That was really nice, she’s really grown up and she was very professional,” Alex Merriam, assistant trainer to Appleby.

“The hood definitely helped and Will said she’s really improved from her last run so she’s going the right way.

“I mentioned it (the Coronation Stakes) to Charlie and he said ‘see what Will thinks’, Will said it’s definitely something to consider so we’ll see how she comes out of it.

“He also mentioned that she could do with a bit of juice in the ground so that might come into consideration as well, hopefully she’s given herself a few options.

“She’s doing everything the right way round, I think watching her there you’d stick to the mile for now.”

John and Thady Gosden’s Spiritual was second under Kieran Shoemark, an improved performance after two well-beaten runs on the Rowley Mile.

“That was a lovely run. She hadn’t quite come to herself in the Nell Gwyn, but it was a good run there and I like the way she battled on once she got headed,” said the elder Gosden.

“That was a solid, good Listed race and it’s nice to get her black type. We’ve nothing in mind, we’re thrilled with that and we’ll come up with another Baldrick plan!”

Kevin Ryan’s Bolsena was the third-placed horse under Ryan Moore, beaten just over two lengths.

Ryan said: “She’s run great. All she’s done is gallop to the line, probably hit a bit of a flat spot and stayed on really well again.

“All suggests maybe stepping up in trip. Ryan was delighted with her and said she’s progressing well.”

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